Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster

Keeping the Faith - 'The Good News Is Good News'

ronniemcbrayer300 orangeKENTUCKY (6/7/14) — Sharing faith, in Christian terms, is known as 'evangelism.'

This is the English rendering of a Greek word meaning “to proclaim the good news.” That’s a problem, because the news isn’t always good.

There was a subtext to the evangelization method I was taught that went something like this: “God is really ticked off with you. He’s mad as hell – literally. And if you don’t pray this prayer, believe the way I believe, and don’t hurry to the baptismal waters as quickly as possible, then he will likely strike you dead before I’m finished talking to you.” I would then scurry away before God’s vengeance fell like fire on the sinner and I was caught in the collateral damage.

Again, there wasn’t much good news in such confrontations, because there was no sharing of God’s love. Love? Forget it. God didn’t love, God hated. God didn’t invite, God demanded. God didn’t plead, God prosecuted. God wasn’t pursuing wayward children as a heartbroken parent; God was dogging hardened criminals like a trigger-happy bounty hunter, a ready execution order in his hip pocket.

I no longer share with others my faith in an angry, perpetually irritated God who only wishes to stamp out humanity because I no longer believe in such a Deity. In light of Jesus, and the love of God he came to reveal to the world, evangelism can radically change. We are now “compelled by love,” to employ a phrase from Paul.

We share our faith not to coerce, force, intimidate, or to instill terror. We share our faith because of and for love’s sake – the only worthy compulsion. We have learned that God loves us, remarkably so, and loves our neighbors with equal measure. This love changes us; cures our dysfunction; and gives us new life. It really is “good news.”

This reminds me of an ancient story about a man named Demosthenes, a skilled orator from Greece. But he was not always a skilled wordsmith. As a young man he had a terrible speech impediment. This became painfully evident when his inheritance was stolen and he had to argue his case in open court.

His speech was so bad, they gave him an ambiguous nickname in the Greek, meaning either “stutterer” or “sphincter” (While neither is flattering, I prefer the former over the latter). He was laughed out of the courtroom. But Demosthenes was determined. He secluded himself in a cave and began studying the methods of the great orators of the past.

He stuffed rocks in his jowls, a crude form of speech therapy, forcing himself to slow down when he talked. Then he shaved off one side of his facial hair so that he would be too embarrassed to go into public. That way, he had to remain in isolation practicing until his hair grew back, and would face no one until he was properly prepared for the task. This would be a good practice for most of us.

Before we breathe a word about the gospel or “good news,” we should be properly prepared. What is the proper preparation? Well, it’s not about having all the theological answers or a collection of “gotcha” responses to objections. It’s about having God’s love consume our hearts. When we can share the love of God by speaking of the ever-loving Christ, while loving those to whom we speak, only then are we ready to open our mouths, and not a minute sooner.

If we must, we will shave our heads and hide our faces. Let us go live in a secluded cave, if need be. Maybe we should stuff our mouths full of stones (or at least cover them with duct tape). It would simply be a good idea not to speak a word about religion, church, God, or the gospel until love is the means, message, and motivation for everything we say.

If we can shut our mouths for just a little while, it just might open our hearts – to the love of God – which really is “good news” for all.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, pastor, and author. His newest book is “The Gospel According to Waffle House.” You can read more at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.

Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessarily adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources.

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

button coupons
button classifieds

In Other News...

Kentucky Law Enforcement Members Receive Top Honors

OWENSBORO, Ky. (12/18/14) — The Owensboro Police Department, along with the Daviess County Sheriff’s Office and… Read More

Webster County to Host Baptist Holiday Classic

DIXON, Ky. (12/18/14) — The Webster County High School boys' basketball program will host the 2014 Baptist Health… Read More

Most Read This Week

December 16, 2014 9659

Coal Miner Fatally Injured in Underground Mining…

in Top News For All Sites by Dick Brown
December 14, 2014 8612

Muhlenberg Pays Homage to U.S. Armed Forces

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
December 17, 2014 6586

Elderly Couple Found Shot to Death in Muhlenberg

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
December 17, 2014 6320

Three Men Charged with Burglary

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 15, 2014 4830

Hopkins County Woman Charged Second Time in Two…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
December 15, 2014 4309

Woman Leads Police on High-Speed Chase in Stolen…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police
December 15, 2014 3310

Vehicle Careens down 150 Foot Embankment with…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 16, 2014 3084

Highway Crews Pre-Treating Roadways for Potential…

in Hopkins News by Keith Todd
December 16, 2014 3070

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Dec. 16, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
December 18, 2014 3065

Cat Scratching over Dog Ownership Escalates

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

December 18, 2014 3065

Cat Scratching over Dog Ownership Escalates

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
December 18, 2014 1434

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

in Hopkins News by Sheila Hopper
December 18, 2014 1430

UK Track and Field Announces Initial Eight…

in General Sports For All Sites by UK Athletics
December 18, 2014 1367

DeArmond Looks Back as Retirement Nears

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
December 18, 2014 1329

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Dec. 18, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
December 18, 2014 1247

Madisonville Insurance Executive Elected Vice…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Kristy Quinn
December 18, 2014 1152

Traffic Shift for New I-69/Pennyrile Pkwy…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Keith Todd
December 18, 2014 1007

City of Earlington Holiday Schedule

in Hopkins News by Julia A. Sellers
December 18, 2014 1006

Kentucky's Jobless Rate Drops to 6 Percent in…

in General News For All Sites by Kim Brannock
December 18, 2014 874

Kentucky Lottery Results for Wednesday Dec. 17,…

in General News For All Sites by Kentucky Lottery

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss